The highest factor on this planet can be to name Hellbound the brand new Squid Sport. In spite of everything, they’re each South Korean dramas, they each deal in violent dying and so they’re each ruin hits on Netflix. This week it used to be reported that Hellbound had crowned rankings in 80 other international locations inside of 24 hours of premiering, and had overtaken Squid Sport because the platform’s most-watched display.
In fact, the comparisons are legitimate. Squid Sport used to be any such marker – no longer simplest in hanging Korean dramas firmly within the mainstream, however in underlining the recognition of displays no longer in English – that it used to be all the time going to swallow up the following factor to return alongside. Have in mind how each and every female-fronted comedy used to be known as “the brand new Fleabag” for years after that display debuted? It is a equivalent factor, simplest with screaming Korean other folks loss of life in unimaginably terrible techniques.
Alternatively, I desperately hope Hellbound can shake off such simple comparisons. Now not simplest does it deserve to face by itself two toes, but it surely additionally occurs to be excellent. Like, insanely excellent. Higher than Squid Sport. Higher than maximum issues, even. When you haven’t watched Hellbound, drop the whole lot now and do it.
Its premise is solely glorious. All of a sudden, individuals are visited through an eerie face that materialises in entrance of them, and advised the time and date in their coming near near dying. After which, similar to clockwork, 3 hulking nice CGI brutes burst in from any other size and pulverise that particular person in a beatdown that leads to full-body incineration.
A number of different paintings would simply go away it there – certainly, the demonic smackdowns have a slight sub-Surprise really feel – however the place Hellbound flourishes is in its willingness to turn us what occurs round their edges. The surprising wisdom that some pressure is intentionally opting for positive other folks to be murdered through supernatural beings right away reshapes all of society as we comprehend it. People who declare to have an perception into the purpose are increased to messianic standing. Huge, unsightly conspiracy theories are seized upon through thousands and thousands. The sector’s inhabitants unearths itself enveloped in a morass of worry and confusion. Sooner than lengthy the demons themselves are lowered to sideshow fare.
In that recognize, Hellbound is in reality extra paying homage to two quieter, extra cerebral displays. Even supposing the grabbier “right here’s when you’re going to die” hook is lifted instantly from The Ring, tonally it has a lot more in commonplace with The Leftovers and The Returned; displays that shone a gentle at the fragility of the human enjoy, that reminded us that it doesn’t take a lot for the whole lot to fall aside utterly. You don’t throw round comparisons to The Leftovers flippantly, however Hellbound merits it.
It’s because of this that I don’t assume Hellbound will completely thieve Squid Sport’s crown. Squid Sport used to be a display that, in hindsight, used to be made with one eye on the web. The outfits, the mask and the chants have been definitely designed to gas memes (as they did), and it used to be rooted in this kind of simple nostalgia that assists in keeping your folks on Fb. Squid Sport used to be giant and large and episodic, to the level that my six-year-old has evolved a rather excellent figuring out of it, primarily based purely on peripheral web content material.
However Hellbound is a miles darker, knottier affair. There are nods to web tradition – maximum noticeably within the Arrowhead, a QAnon-esque staff that ceaselessly seems to scream hysterical frenzy-whipping claptrap immediately directly to a livestream – however they’re introduced extra in damnation than overture. Characters right here don’t seem to be simply faceless numbers in tracksuits, both, with each and every one given their very own fleshed-out backstory. With each and every whiplash-inducing twist – and there are so much – you’re pressured to really feel the total weight of each and every outcome. This is a lot much less amusing than Squid Sport, and far more difficult to digest.
This is the reason it’s so profitable. Hellbound is a actually outstanding drama wrapped in simplest the lightest of style thrills. It will recently in finding itself swept up in Squid Sport’s wake, however I ensure that, of the 2, it’s the display that can nonetheless be talked a couple of decade from now.